The following is under the trivia section of the Axtinguisher page on the TF2 wiki:

Although Pyros and Demomen using the Chargin' Targe are resistant to afterburn, they can be crit by the Axtinguisher if the hit connects before resistance takes effect.

Now, I know how to inflict critical damage against these opponents with the flare gun: simply hold down M1 (keeping hold of the button), and scroll down.

This works, apparently, because the nature of particle-based weapons mean that fire particles linger for a short period after being fired, during which time the enemy is counted as being "on fire" (I don't have a source for this, but remember reading it somewhere).

However, when I try doing the same thing with the Axtinguisher (using the melee key, as opposed to scrolling down), no inflicted critical hit occurs.

Now, why does this not work for the Axtinguisher? The same conditions are met, so surely I should inflict critical damage (from behind).

More importantly, how can I get this to work?

I've tried it on tr_walkway with stationary Pyros, and the Degreaser-Axtinguisher combo doesn't work.

I have noticed, however, that if an ally continuously blasts an enemy pyro with his flamethrower, and I, during that time, hit the enemy with the Axtinguisher from behind, it will score a critical hit.

Is there any way I can Axtinguish Pyros (and Charge Demoknights) without the help of an ally Pyro?

  • Keyword: Resistant. That means that the fire will go out faster, but they will still catch fire for a small fraction of a second.
    – Neffer_23
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 2:56

1 Answer 1


Since the flamethrower projectiles have a travel time, you have to time it so that by the time the flame hits the pyro, and before it goes away due to afterburn immunity, you have your axtinguisher out already hitting the pyro.

Here's an example by sketchek, a popular TF2 youtuber:

In the video you'll notice that from a high distance (which is much easier to get critical axtinguisher kills on enemy pyro), he jumps down, shoots the flamethrower down. Since it has travel time, the pyro is travelling at roughly the same speed as the flames. By the time he's nearly all the way down, he has axtinguisher out and ready to melee the pyro. When he hits the bottom, the flames have hit the Pyro but not triggered afterburn immunity, allowing you to crit the pyro.

This doesn't have to be done while airborned, as you can see from the second video you can critflare on pyros who are being airblasted upwards if you time it correctly.

  • So is this the only way to Axtinguish a Pyro? By attacking from above (in which case I'd need the detonator every time)?
    – alexqwx
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 17:32
  • I believe that 'afterburn immunity' just change the duration of the afterburn to make it last for only a couple of frames. That's why you need to strike immediately as soon as the flame hits. Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 17:37
  • 2
    @alexqwx Not necessarily. For example, you can airblast a pyro upwards, then M1, quickswitch to your axtinguisher, then crit them. I think sketchek has a video of that, gimme a sec.
    – childe
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 18:17
  • @0-framelinks Why isn't this process as simple as flarepunching a pyro? The exact same mechanics are involved.
    – alexqwx
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 20:36
  • 1
    @alexqwx: I know nothing, but it appears to be because the the axtinguisher doesn't light enemies on fire, but the flare gun does? Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 21:51

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